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Letters to the editor


An emphatic (if unofficial) request from an alumni leader

Richard Levine’s “Farewell Address” (Letter from Ithaca, May/June 2013) struck a sympathetic chord in asking to “strengthen the University by expanding the reach of Cornell Alumni Magazine.” At the very least, the University should be pressing to have the sesquicentennial-year editions of CAM mailed to every living alumni. Cornell will be paying special attention and devoting considerable resources to bringing its sesquicentennial celebration to as many alumni as possible. There is no better way to bring our milestone celebration to every alumni doorstep than for the University to expand its financial support of the print edition during its sesquicentennial year.

Jay Waks ’68, JD ’71
New York, New York

A Picture Is Worth . . .

Thank you for the mouthwatering photo essay of the “campus as you’ve never seen it,” bathed in the warm light of late afternoon or cloudless or pristine and lovely (“Yesterday, Today—and Tomorrow,” May/June 2013). I’m ready to sign up again—if only I can find sixty grand a year.

George Ubogy ’58
Greenwich, Connecticut

Thanks to one of my two Cornell brothers (Colin Tait ’54), I received the May/June 2013 issue with its dramatic color  photographs of classic campus scenes—none more so than the magnificent memorial apse at the front of Sage Chapel. Readers may be interested to know that Charles Rollinson Lamb, our grandfather, was the creative magician who redesigned the empty apse into its present appearance in 1900. Our grandmother, Ella Condie Lamb, designed the two groups of women—representing the sciences and arts—in the wide mosaic panel at the base, and Frederick Stymetz Lamb, Charles’s brother, created the soaring archangels in iridescent mosaic at the high point of the apse. The work was executed at J. & R. Lamb Studios, founded in New York City in 1857 and long the oldest stained glass studios in the U.S. (It is now located in Wyckoff, New Jersey.)

The overall apse concept reflects Cornell’s early leadership in both nondenominational and coeducation traditions. Thankfully, Cornell has, and appreciates, this true treasure—to continue to be enjoyed by alumni and many others down through the years.

Barrie Tait Collins
Bethany, Connecticut

Our feature based on the book Cornell: Tradition, Vision and Inspirationby photographer Alan Nyiri also drew many comments at the CAM website. A sampling:

Wow, I thought I had really appreciated the beauty of the campus during my time there, but these are absolutely awe-inspiring! The techniques are amazing, and they certainly make the already awesome campus into true artwork. Thanks for sharing.

Joan Krajca-Radcliffe ’73

Thank you for these wonderful images. It’s always inspiring to see an artist’s vision of a familiar place.

Ann Farnsley ’62

The beauty of the campus and the gorges still haunts my dreams. I am delighted to share these photos with my three California granddaughters.

Catherine Evans Latta ’61

Amazing photos! Damn, I miss the campus and town. Haven’t been back in years. My memory fades as time passes, but these photos sparked up some great ones. Thanks!

Myles Clewner ’90

The beautiful photographs of Cornell make me homesick. I spent three of the best years of my life there. . . . Thanks for these wonderful photographs.

Brian Hunt, MS Vet ’77

Misguided Mission?

Regarding the efforts of Chris Purdy, MPS ’93, to promote “family planning” in the developing world (“Where the Rubbers Meet the Road,” Currents, May/June 2013), undoubtedly DKT International is well intentioned and the scale of the organization and its reach are impressive accomplishments. Unfortunately, their focus appears to be misguided. While the developing world suffers from many social injustices and often the economic conditions result in deplorable living conditions, rectifying or trying to reduce their impact through better “marketing” of human sexuality and artificial contraception, as if it were simply another commercial product to be consumed, will only perpetuate exploitation and create toleration for practices that degrade human life and dignity.

I suggest that DKT should instead focus its efforts on promoting social conditions that result in raising human dignity and promoting healthy development—namely education, economic stability, and political freedom founded on a social order in which marriage and fidelity are promoted and committed families are encouraged and seen as the proper environment for sex education. Exploitation, such as that found in a brothel, should be condemned rather than legitimized and endorsed with colorful marketing.

John Wennemann ’89
St. Louis, Missouri

Musical Note

I read the article “Music Men” with interest (Cornelliana, May/June 2013). I too was in an a capella group, called the Notables, although we did use guitar and kazoo to accompany us. We were composed of a dozen women, and Nell Burrows ’69 was our “leader.” We sang on a local radio show (once!) and in fraternity houses, as well as on a month-long USO tour of Venezuela, Guantanamo Bay, and the Caribbean. When we were accepted by the USO, I remember asking my Mom if I should go, because it would mean losing a month of school. She wisely said, “Go. You’ll never forget the experience.” How right she was—and I’m sure my fellow Notables would agree. It’s a wonderful memory.

Arlene Harris ’69
New York, New York